Israeli drops Aussie Open mixed doubles final

MELBOURNE, Australia (JTA) — Israel’s Andy Ram failed at the Australian Open to win his fourth Grand Slam doubles title.

Ram, playing in the mixed doubles final Sunday alongside France’s Nathalie Dechy, fell to the unseeded Indian pair of Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupati, 6-3, 6-1 in 55 minutes at Rod Laver Arena. The match came just before the much-anticipated men’s singles final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer won by the top-seeded Nadal in five sets.

The wild-card Indian duo, who defeated Ram and Dechy in last year’s semifinal in Australia, broke serve in the first set and twice in the second set. It was their first mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

“They were well-deserved winners," Ram told JTA, adding later, “Coming from a small country like Israel, which doesn’t have many sporting achievements, I’m very proud to make some good news.”

Ram shares with Dechy a runners-up check for $43,000, taking his career prize money to $1.75 million. In 2007, the pair won the French Open mixed doubles title.

Last year at the Australian Open, Ram and his longstanding partner, Yoni Erlich, won the Australian Open men’s doubles championship — the first all-Israeli duo to win a grand slam. Ram also won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Russia’s Vera Zvonareva in 2006.

 

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